Premier League • England

Chelsea interest prompts ‘rethink’ from top full-back target; asking price half of recent claim

Sergino Dest and Layvin Kurzawa in PSG v Barcelona in March 2021

Sergino Dest could be warming to the idea of a transfer to Chelsea – and such a move may not cost as much as originally thought, according to reports.

Chelsea need to find new wing-backs during the January transfer window. They have encountered injury issues on either side of their defence. On the right, they are without Reece James, while Ben Chilwell is absent on the other flank.

It is vital for them to find reinforcements while they can. The plan on the left-hand side of defence is to recall Emerson Palmieri from his loan spell with Lyon, if possible.

That may not be as straight-forward as it sounds, though. Therefore, Chelsea are exploring other options. And in Sergino Dest, they could find someone to tick both boxes.

The USA international is a right-back by trade, but he can also play on the left. He is already on their radar to fill the vacancy on his natural side, but a move could have a double benefit.

Barcelona are open to offloading him as they continue to try and trim the wage bill. They have brought back Dani Alves to provide competition for his right-back berth.

Chelsea have been linked for a while and it was recently reported that a deal could set them back €40m, despite Dest’s struggles at Barca since joining from Ajax.

Sergino Dest has been linked with Premier League move

Sergino Dest has been linked with Premier League move

Barcelona's Sergino Dest has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea.

But according to Mundo Deportivo, his actual cost might be half that. Barcelona spent €20m to sign him and do not want to accept a lower offer. However, it seems to be a softer stance than that of doubling their money.

What’s more, the report claims Dest could change his original plans. He initially thought it best to stay at Barcelona, where he is under contract until 2025.

But now, interest from European champions Chelsea could cause a “rethink”. And he is indeed climbing up the Blues’ shortlist.

For now, they will continue to rely on Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso respectively in the wide defensive roles.

Tuchel provides Chelsea full-back update

Chelsea’s pursuit of Dest comes after they appeared to lose the race for Everton left-back Lucas Digne. The Frenchman instead seems set for Aston Villa.

It means the topic of a return for Emerson has also become more discussed.

But head coach Thomas Tuchel has given little away with his most recent comments.

Asked about transfers, Tuchel said in his latest press conference: “We adapt daily to the situation but it has not changed for us.

“No news or updates. The areas are clear where we are looking in the market. There is no need to put any pressure on in public.”

Subsequently asked about Palmieri’s future, the manager said: “It is the same question and will be the same answer. There is no news and when there is, we will update you.”

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